Democracy Soup

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Rush Limbaugh’s cluelessness about his racist tirades earns him the Media Putz

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Originally published on on October 15, 2009

Rush Limbaugh

Wanting to take his undeserved millions and putting it towards a failing football team (St. Louis Rams with a current 0-5 record so far), Rush Limbaugh seemed surprised there was controversy over his prospects of being the newest NFL owner.

Limbaugh still hasn’t realized that people pay attention to what he has said and hold him accountable.

What separates Limbaugh — along with Glenn Beck (his spawn, if you believe Limbaugh) and Ann Coulter — from true conservatives is that we don’t believe that they believe what they say is true. George Will is a pompous conservative, but we generally believe that he believes what he says, regardless of whether we agree with him or wonder if he is living in reality.

For some inane reason, ESPN hired Limbaugh in 2003 for its “Sunday NFL Countdown” despite his, well, overall being. So it came as sadly little surprise that Limbaugh’s insight was boiled down to one racist comment about Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb.

“I think what we’ve had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn’t deserve. The defense carried this team.”

The uproar got loud enough that Limbaugh resigned from ESPN within the week, but he didn’t go down meekly.

“All this has become the tempest that it is because I must have been right about something…  If I wasn’t right, there wouldn’t be this cacophony of outrage that has sprung up in the sports writer community.”

Gee, Rush, if you had been “right,” you wouldn’t have had to resign. And given how good McNabb has been on the football field since 2003, your football insight has as much credibility as your three-hour radio ego-a-thon.

In 2007, Limbaugh said on his radio show that “the NFL, all too often, looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it.”

When Limbaugh wanted to put together a group to buy the St. Louis Rams, he likely wasn’t thinking about Donovan McNabb or ESPN. And he certainly didn’t consider that people might remember something he said six years ago. After all, when you’ve said so many hateful and hurtful sentences in your life, how are you supposed to remember one or two specific instances?

But football fans haven’t forgotten. African-Americans haven’t forgotten. People with sense, compassion, and ethics haven’t forgotten.

NFL Players executive director DeMaurice Smith came out against the Limbaugh’s bid as did several African-American NFL players. They might want to play for an 0-5 team, but they don’t want to play for a racist owner.

It looks like the NFL will say no to Limbaugh (though the 2010 Miss America Pageant says yes to Rush), but this saga — and all the emotion that has flowed as a result — should remind us that people care about what other people say, and we are judged by what we say, whether we mean it or not.

As Limbaugh noted himself on NBC’s “Today” show this week, his show is mainly about making money:

“I’m doing my show for ratings. I want the largest audience I can get because that’s how I can charge the highest advertising rates, which means what else do I want? Money.”

Funny how “conservative” or “principles” never enters into it.

For speaking hateful words but not remembering that they impact real people, for having the audacity to not realize saying racist things over and over hurt his slim chances of being an NFL owner, Rush Limbaugh wins this week’s Media Putz award.

Rush Limbaugh previously won the Media Putz on March 5, 2009, January 29, 2009, November 20, 2008, June 26, 2008, May 22, 2008, and August 9, 2007.


Written by democracysoup

October 15, 2009 at 6:00 am

Posted in media criticism, MSM

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